Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) has signed a $1.2 billion contract with AgustaWestland to procure an initial 50 T129 attack helicopters to be built to Turkish specifications and developed from the export-standard A129 Mangusta International.

Turkish Aerospace Industries will be prime contractor for the project and will build a prototype of the new aircraft, which will feature more powerful engines to support hot and high operations, while Askeri Elektronik Sanayii will supply its avionics equipment.

The Turkish army's first T129s are scheduled for delivery in 2012, with Ankara also having options to acquire a further 41 examples under its ATAK project.

Source: Flight International